Meal times and weight loss


By Brooke Strickland

We’ve heard often about not eating late at night or giving into those dreaded midnight chocolate cravings, but a recent study showed that if you want to lose weight you should not just focus on what you’re eating, but what time you’re eating it.  The study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that people that ate a bigger meal later in the day lost less weight than the people that ate their biggest meal earlier in the day.  The study looked at 420 people in Spain, during a 20-week weight loss treatment program, with the people split into two groups. The first group of participants ate lunch before 3 pm and the other ones ate lunch after 3pm. The result:  the early eaters on average lost 25% more weight than the late eaters. [1]

So how can you incorporate this into your weight loss regimen?  It’s easy to get busy at work or at home and forget to eat an early lunch.  Sometimes, you’re on the run all day and by the time you realize you’re hungry, it is well past the lunch hour.  So, begin carving out a regular lunch time routine at the same time each day.  Pick a time that makes sense for you and sit down and eat a healthy, well balanced meal.  For example, if you eat lunch at noon, eat a large, healthy meal that will keep you full until dinner.  Then, at dinner, have a smaller portion that has fewer calories. 

Follow this motto and see if it helps you shed the pounds faster: eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.

[1] “Meal times may affect weight loss success.” January 29, 2013. Accessed on March 5, 2013.